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Connections & Conversations - The Brave New World of Spiritual Well-Being - Tim Auman

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  • 1.The Brave New World of Spiritual Well-Being : Infusing Soul Into a Wake Forest Education Office of the Chaplain Soulful Conversations in a Community of Friends

2. Raising Visionaries Suppose we discovered that it was possible to raise visionaries: persons with concern for their neighbor who were willing to devote their lives to the healing of the planet? (Coleen Smith Slosberg, United Campus Ministry, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1998) 3. Raising Visionaries People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Thich Nhat Hanh, or Abraham Joshua Heschel. 4. Raising Visionaries People like those who lobby for compassionate welfare reform, those who are building affordable housing using volunteer labor, and those who become directors of non-profits serving the local community. 5. Critical Moments In the movie recounting the journey of Apollo 13, scientists were discussing the return trip to earth. If their course projection was off by only a few degrees when the astronauts left the moons orbit, the space capsule would swing wide of earth and be flung out into space A small push at the critical moment can make a huge difference. 6. Places of Leverage There are places of leverage in each life, places where growth is happening so quickly that a small move may change the projection of a lifetime. While there are many critical moments in life, one of these comes during the college years. The emerging adult has power and personal freedom but not the emotional maturity that comes with experience. 7. Setting the Trajectory The future of life for emerging adults is being set during the college years. There is great potential to impact the future, provide the little push, help set the trajectory. 8. Enriching the Soil The campus community is the soil of great and intense growth. If that soil is poor, if it is lacking in certain nutritional elements or important stimuli, the growth which occurs during these years may be stunted. 9. Growing Leaders With Vision But if the soil is rich with the appropriate stimuli, the potential for growth is great. So, how can we enrich the soil of the campus in such a way that students develop a hopeful vision for the world? How can we enrich it to encourage the growth of leaders with vision? How can we help to enrich the soil of the campus in such a way that we encourage some of our students to commit their lives to service, to the healing of the world? 10. BIG QUESTIONS We, the Office of the Chaplain, have a vision. We believe that the deepest questions in life are spiritual. They are questions about the search for meaning and purpose. They are profoundly personal questions that each of us must ultimately answer in our own way: Who am I? Why am I here? What is worth living for? How do I live my values? Whom and what do I serve? What is it that I love above all else? What happens to me when I am gone? 11. We believe that spirituality is a universal instinct toward connection with others and discovery of our place in the larger web of life. The spiritual quest is a lifelong pursuit, but it emerges full bloom during the transition from youth to adulthood. For most students, the college years are a time of questioning and spiritual searching in which there is particular emphasis upon two dimensions of spirituality: 1) asking BIG questions about meaning and purpose 2) and finding a spiritual home. Two Dimensions of Spirituality 12. So Who Are We? 13. We Are Spiritual Pilgrims We are spiritual pilgrims who live on a planet traveling in three different ways at the same time. The earth spins on its axis at 1,000 mph. We orbit around our sun at 66,600 mph. Our solar family, composed of the sun and planets and their moons, is also racing through space at 43,000 mph. Four great questions present themselves to those who travel and live upon this planet: Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why am I here? How am I to live? 14. We Are Spiritual Amphibians We are also designed to live harmoniously in the midst of both the spiritual and the material, the physical and the metaphysical, the here and the hereafter. Humans are meaning-making beings. Whether one adheres to Socrates admonition to know thyself or advice that the unexamined life is not worth living, humans possess a hunger and a thirst to create meaning within their lives. 15. Spiritual Well-Being We are torn between wanting security and wanting to break free, between deadening ourselves to human suffering and opening ourselves up to the experience of living, between racing to protect our future and pausing to enjoy the moment, between surviving and thriving. So what are we really yearning for? We believe that we are hungering and thirsting for SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING. 16. Spiritual Well-Being: So What Is It? Spiritual well-being is not something to be achieved. Spiritual well-being is not something to be acquired. It is inside you, not out there in the world. Most people are looking outside of themselves for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, for security, for a sense of purpose and meaning, or for love, when we have treasure within, greater than anything the world can offer. 17. Spiritual Well-Being: Six Basic Yearnings* Spiritual well-being is a way of answering the six basic yearnings we all share as human beings: Joy. We were born with the capacity for total joy. Vitality. We want to be filled with curiosity, wonder, and above all, a passion for living. Meaning & Purpose. We dont want to feel that we were created by accident, that we dont matter, that what we do has no effect on the world. We want a purpose to give us direction. Peace. We want, as much as possible, to be free of suffering. Love. We want to love and be loved. A Spiritual Foundation. We want a sense of transcendence that helps us to brave tragedy and suffering and discover an internal, eternal core of stability and peace. *Terry Lynn Taylor & Mary Beth Crain, 1997 18. Spiritual Well-Being: Competencies Seven Spiritual Qualities* 1) Resilience The capacity to maintain ones sense of calm and centeredness, especially in times of crisis 2) Spiritual Curiosity An active quest for answers to lifes big questions 3) Ethic of Caring & Civility A sense of caring and compassion for others 4) Service to others A desire to keep within ones heart a love for the cause of human welfare and a dedication to enrich the lives of all people 5) Interfaith Worldview A global worldview that also honors particularity 6) Competency & Commitment within a Spiritual/Religious Tradition An internal quality that reflects the students knowledge of and commitment to a particular spiritual/religious tradition 7) Authenticity The courage to be fully human *adapted from A National Study of College Students Search for Meaning and Purpose, Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA, 2003-2010 19. Spiritual Well-Being: Authenticity We put our best foot forward, but its the other one that needs attention. - William Sloane Coffin 20. Spiritual Well-Being: Vulnerability Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy the experiences that make us most vulnerable. - Bren Brown If you trade authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief. - Bren Brown 21. Spiritual Well-Being: Silence The Biblical injunction Be still and know that I am God, sums up a theme that runs through all of world myths and religions, from the teachings of the Buddha to the sayings of the Christian saints, from the wisdom of the Kabala to the writings of the Sufi mystics. Spiritual well-being is about one of the greatest of all spiritual practices the simple observance of silence. 22. Spiritual Well-Being: Vocation & Calling Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. - Parker Palmer 23. Spiritual Well-Being: Slowing Coopers Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake Gloucester, U.K. From the top of a hill a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors race down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. Hmmmm.. 24. Spiritual Well-Being: Social Media How does spiritual well-being amplify the benefits and lessen the harms associated with social media? Spiritual well-being emphasizes how we are interconnected. Spiritual well-being helps us differentiate between communication and connection. Spiritual well-being teaches us how to develop discriminating awareness. Spiritual well-being teaches us not to pretend that we have qualities we dont have and not to try to hide shortcoming that we do have. Spiritual well-being teaches us to be considerate of others, to be civil, and not to interrupt and waste the time of others with meaningless chatter. 25. Religion & Spirituality It is important to differentiate the notion of religion from issues of spirituality, because the words are often used interchangeably. Religion is a shared system of beliefs, principles, or doctrines related to a belief in and worship of a supernatural power. Spirituality is the search for meaning, transcendence, wholeness, purpose, and apprehension of spirit as the animating essence at the core of life, a search more personal than public (Parks, 2000). Ideally, religion and spirituality significantly overlap. However, there are religious people tied so closely to dogma and doctrine as to be disconnected from issues of the spirit, and people who disavow any notion of or connection with religion yet are deeply involved in a search for meaning, wholeness, and purpose. 26.

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